Tuesday, January 3, 2017

My 2016 in Books (and 2017 Goals)


Last week, Kristen shared her Best (and worst) books of 2016 and I loved the format that she used to track her reading stats. So with her permission, I'm stealing borrowing her idea and looking at my 2016 in books:

Last year, I finished 66 total books - 6 cookbooks = 60 books read in 2016.




25% audiobooks (15)
27% ebooks (16)
48% hardcover & paperbacks (29)

I feel like the audiobook percentage is a little high because I borrowed The Chronicles of Narnia from my mother-in-law which is a 7-book series. I only listen to audiobooks in the car, but I just so happened to do a ton of driving this year (my hour-long work commute, driving across the state for site visits and trainings, and then a few long trips to visit family and friends on the East Coast). I've always been very opposed to e-books, up until this past year. I have the iPhone 6s Plus which is perfect for using my Kindle app. Between lots of late night feedings and the desire to review new books through NetGalley, I read an uncharacteristic amount of e-books this year. 

28% were male authors, 72% were female.
I pretty much stick to female authors the majority of the time. Partly because I intentionally seek out female authors, but mostly because I don't read a lot of male-heavy genres like thrillers, fantasy, mysteries, etc. Once again, I feel like this number is a little skewed by The Chronicles of Narnia (written by a man, C.S. Lewis). 


52% were from the library, 48% were pre-owned, borrowed from someone, or received through NetGalley. 
It's actually kind of crazy that my library percentage isn't higher because pretty much all books I read are through my local library. I would say The Chronicles of Narnia + all my NetGalley books for review are the reason for this.

33% were nonfiction.
I really enjoy celebrity memoirs (Amy Schumer, Trevor Noah, Kristin Chenoweth) and inspirational/Christian nonfiction (Shauna Niequist, Rachel Held Evans, Glennon Doyle Melton) so this category is pretty unsurprising. 

Star rating breakdown:
★★★- 23%
★★★★- 33%
★★★ - 31%
★★ - 11%
★ - 2% 


I do enjoy a good 4-star rating, but I have a ton more 1, 2, and 3 star ratings this year than I've had in prior years. I think this is because my standards are higher and I've gotten a bit more brutally honest when a book disappoints me. I also think it could be in part that I've participated in so many reading challenges this year. I read a lot of books that I would usually never choose or were in genres I don't prefer. I like broadening my horizons and reading outside my comfort zone, but I tend to rate books lower in genres I don't enjoy (duh). 

The first book I read: Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children #3) by Ransom Riggs
The last book I read: The Mothers by Brit Bennett




Longest book: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling 
Shortest book: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling





Favorites
I already posted my 10 Best Reads in 2016, but here's a quick rundown:
Cravings by Chrissy Teigen
A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans
Difficult Women by Roxane Gay




The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon
The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer



The Royal We by Heather Cocks
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton



             
Duds
The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang
Falling by Jane Green
Women are Scary by Melanie Dale




> > >

With that in mind, I'm also setting some personal reading goals for 2017. 

My first goal is to read 52 books in the year. This averages to a book a week, which is definitely a stretch, but I read 60 books in 2016 so I think I can pull it off.

My second goal is to hit the pause button on reading challenges. I am hardcore addicted to reading challenges (as you may have noticed), but seeing that they caused me to read several books that I didn't enjoy has forced me to reevaluate. I like that they force me outside my reading comfort zone. But I also really don't see the point in reading books that I don't enjoy. I'm not swearing them off for good because they're great motivation to skip Netflix and opt for a book instead. But I want to focus on only reading books that I want to, and not because I feel obligated to. 

What are your 2017 reading goals?


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